J. D. C. Spent $27, 398, 000 on Relief Work in 1957; Aided 195, 000 Persons
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J. D. C. Spent $27, 398, 000 on Relief Work in 1957; Aided 195, 000 Persons

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The Joint Distribution Committee appropriated $27, 398, 000 during 1957 for its operations in Europe, Israel and Moslem countries, Moses A. Leavitt, JDC executive vice chairman revealed in the annual report of the organization published here today. The report established that 195, 000 Jewish men, women and children received JDC aid during last year.

For 1958 JDC has adopted a budget of $28, 591, 000 for aid to more than 200, 000 needy Jews overseas. The financial mainstay of JDC’s overseas rehabilitation and reconstruction programs, the report notes, continues to be funds provided through the nationwide campaigns of the United Jewish Appeal.

In his report, Mr. Leavitt recalled that “the beginning of the year 1957 found the Joint Distribution Committee faced again with a major refugee emergency. And as the year ended, there were still thousands of refugees–men, women and children–who had fled to safety, whose lives were in JDC’s hands.” Among the 195, 000 needy Jews in all parts of the world who received aid during 1958, Mr. Leavitt indicated that there were 99, 290 in Moslem countries alone. A major development was the establishment, toward the close of the year, of a JDC program of assistance to some 9, 000 to 10, 000 Jews recently repatriated from Russia to Poland. Among the other year’s major developments the JDC executive vice-chairman cited:

1. Aid for more than 16, 600 aged, ill and handicapped newcomers and their families in Israel through Malben, the JDC welfare program in the Jewish State.

2. Some 6, 198 loans, amounting to nearly $2, 500, 000, granted by 29 JDC-sponsored loan institutions to Jewish artisans, professionals and others throughout the world.

3. The distribution by JDC of 12, 219, 107 pounds of U.S. Department of Agriculture surplus food to 111, 450 persons monthly in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Iran, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Tunisia and Yugoslavia.

4. The provision of vocational training–through ORT–to 25, 546 persons. JDC’s allocation to ORT for this purpose was $1, 500, 000 in 1957.

5. Continued development of Jewish community and youth centers, housing projects and other institutions all over Europe with the financial assistance of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.

6. An agreement between Malben and the Israel Ministry of Health providing for the transfer of all TB care for newcomers in Israel to the Ministry over a period of four years.

7. The continuance of special assistance in various fields, including Passover relief–nearly 600, 000 pounds of matzoth, matzoh meal and other Passover food–to Jews in 14 European countries. In ten European and four Moslem countries, 17, 655 children spent vacations in summer camps sponsored by JDC.


The report in the JDC summary by Edward M.M. Warburg, chairman of the JDC, and formerly president and now honorary chairman of the UJA, declares that “the impact on the American visitor” who sees JDC operations in Europe and Israel “never ceases to be explosive.”

The impression of Israel itself is overwhelming,” he declares in a report titled Mission to Europe and Israel. “To me one of the most exciting aspects of the country was its sense of confidence. Not that there was any military swaggering. They knew that they were secure against any action by their neighbors–the remaining fear was the one in which the whole world is involved, namely the East-West straggle itself.”

Mr. Warburg praised the assistance provided by United Jewish Appeal funds and predicted continued support for its efforts. James H. Becker, chairman of the JDC national council, cites in the report the considerable number of JDC’s officers who are veterans of 20 and 30 and 40 years of service.

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